Caraway Speedway alters slate for Late Models

Low car counts cause changes in key division

SOPHIA – Changes are coming to the Late Models division just a few weeks into the Caraway Speedway season.

After the division was scratched from the racing card for the first slated race of April because of low entry numbers, track officials revised the plan for that class.

“We are not giving up on the division,” speedway owner Darren Hackett said, making it clear the class won’t be eliminated. “We will however, rework the 2024 schedule to give more teams the chance to compete with us without having a schedule that conflicts with other tracks as much as possible while offering our fans a quality event.”

The net schedule means the first of four remaining Late Models races will begin with June 15’s Summer Showdown of 100 laps with $2,000 to the winner.

There will be the Rusty Harpe Memorial on July 6 with $3,000 to win before the Sam Ard Memorial 100 on July 20 and the Mid-Atlantic 125 on Oct. 26.

Late Models also will be on hand for the CARS Tour visit July 3.

The purse on at least the next two Late Models races will including $400 or $500 for drivers starting those races.

The track will honor commitments made to teams that competed in the first two Late Models races this year. A Late Models champion will be determined and recognized at next January’s annual awards banquet.

There were concerns raised and online chatter expressing frustration when Late Models were removed from the April 13 docket.

Track officials said the Late Models have been a staple for the speedway.

“We have tried for the past few years to field the Late Model division as a quality division and to a point that has worked out for us,” Hackett said. “But after last season, we had several competitors come to us with the suggestion of going with a ‘true’ Late Model stock car as the feature class. While Caraway Speedway is not a NASCAR-sanctioned track, we have adopted the NASCAR (Late Models) rules package for competitors. To this point in the 2024 season, car counts have been disappointing, especially since we followed the suggestions of the competitors and made the rules change.”

On Saturday night, when women are admitted free to the grandstands and trackside, the racing card is slated to include Mod 4s, 602 Modifieds, UCARs and twin features for both Challengers and Bootleggers. There also will be qualifying heats for UCARs.

By Bob Sutton